Strips of paper are threaded between several strings. The paper is placed in the lower half of the strings so that the strings can be played in a regular way.
Paper in strings.
Sticky paper, like aluminum foil for example, can be wrapped around single strings.
Aluminum foil around a string.
The sound of a harp prepared with paper has often been called the snare-drum effect. Although the sound is not really like a snare-drum, it may be reminiscent of it. The result is a short accented sound with a slight buzz.
The sound varies greatly according to the type of paper threaded in the strings. There are many possibilities. For example:
The prepared area should be clearly identified. It takes a few seconds to prepare the strings. The preparation can, however, be removed quickly.
Example of how to indicate prepared areas.